California Business Entity Search Process and Different Techniques with Guidelines

Naming a business is the base of forming your LLC/corporation in the state of California. Therefore you must understand how to choose a valid name for your business through the California business entity search. It will also help you avoid facing any rejection ahead in the process. For this, you should be aware of the California naming guidelines and how to search whether your desired business name is valid or not?

Why Do California Business Entity Search?

It is important for any business to think of a unique business name. To know whether your name is unique or not, you must do the California business entity search. It is simply a search performed on the California secretary of state’s website to check the availability of any name. The main purpose to do so is to avoid choosing a name same as another business. Whether you are forming an LLC or a Corporation, you need to search to form a business within the state.

California Secretary of state

California LLC Naming Guidelines

Following the naming guidelines will make sure that your California LLC search is not a waste because the invalid name can still be searched but it will not be accepted when you will try registering your LLC.

  • Your LLC name should be unique.
  • It is necessary to use the words “Limited Company”, “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, “L.C”, etc.
  • Accent marks above business name will not be recognised.
  • The state will not see the upper case and lower case as distinction.
  • Your business name should not suggest that you are a government agency.

California Corporation Naming Guidelines

Here are a few points that you should keep in mind while thinking of your corporation name. A valid name can then be used to perform the California corporation search.

  • Your Corporation name should be different from any other corporation in the state.
  • The name should have “Corporation”, “Company”, “Incorporated”, “Corp”, “Co”, etc.
  • You must not choose a name that may confuse your business to be a government agency.
  • Accent marks above business name will not be recognised.
  • The state will not see the upper case and lower case as distinction.

CA Business Entity Search Techniques

A business can use the California SOS website and its business name search tool for two reasons. Firstly, you can check the availability of your LLC/corporation name. Secondly, you can check general information for any business in the state. Now, there are multiple ways to search for a business name.

California Business Entity Search

1. Search by Name: You can search your LLC name or Corporation name directly on the California business search tool. If there is no result matching your search term, then your business name is available.

2. Search by Entity Number: Another way to search for a particular business is by entity number. This will only show the result for a registered business in California. This search will help you know other details like registration date, business status, and even registered agent.

California Business Entity Search Process

A business should be aware of the California SOS business search and what needs to be done even after you have completed your search. Let us move on to give you a brief understanding.

1. Think of an LLC/Corporation name: You must follow the guidelines and think of a business name that is suitable and projects your business entity. A name should not be selected just for the sake of starting a business. It should have a meaning related to your work.

2. Do the SOS name search: Visit the California secretary of state website and perform the search. Search the name you decided on using the name search tool.

3. Analyse the result: If you find your exact search in the result, this would suggest that your LLC/corporation name is already taken. In case the result shows a name similar to your search, it means that your business name is available.

4. Reserve LLC/Corporation name: This is an optional step. An LLC or a Corporation generally choose to reserve their business name in case they think they might choose the name in the end if there is no better option left. You can reserve the business name by filing a form from the official SOS website.

5. Register LLC/Corporation name: To register your business name, you can visit the California SOS website and once it is registered, your LLC/corporation name can not be taken.

This was the complete process for the CA SOS business search. Any business should understand what does their name search result means and how to move forward with it. You can also take help from a registered agent to reserve or register your LLC/Corporation.

Choose Your Business Name After Considering This!

A business name is not something that you can change easily. You have to follow a proper procedure and file forms as well. Therefore you have to choose a business name considering many factors. Here are a few more factors that can prove to be important in the long run.

California Trademark Search

1. Trademark Search: This state trademark search will help to know whether your business name is trademarked or not. A trademark protects a name, phrase, logo, and even symbols. So it would be better not to use a name that is already a registered trademark.

2. Domain Name: For ease in remembering your business website, you must keep the domain name and business name the same. Therefore we would recommend you to search the same domain name and check for availability.

3. Social Media Name: Your presence online can be important and if you have to change your name online then it could create a problem for your audience to track you. Therefore check whether your business name can also be used as your account name on various social media platforms or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I check for available business names in California?

You can visit the California SOS business search page and perform a name search for your desired business names. If the name isn't currently acquired by any other entity, then it means it's available to use.

2. How do I reserve my business name in California?

Fill the California name reservation request form and submit it to the SOS by mail or in person.

How much does it cost to reserve a business name in California?

The California SOS charges a $10 fee to reserve a business name for 60 days

4. What is the file number for businesses in California?

The entity number or file number is a unique identification number given by the California SOS when a business is being formed/registered.

Are You Ready To Name Your Business?

Given all the information, you must surely be ready to name your LLC/Corporation. As choosing a business name can be crucial, we hope the California business entity search was easy to understand and now you could do the same using the CA secretary of state website.

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